Renault Valencia ban lifted by FIA

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso will get to race at home
Fernando Alonso will get to race at home

Fernando Alonso will race for Renault in this weekend’s European Grand Prix as the FIA quashed the swingeing penalty imposed on the team by the Hungarian Grand Prix stewards.

With Nelson Piquet Jnr dropped by the team, GP2 driver Romain Grosjean is expected to race the second R29 alongside Alonso.

No race ban and a $50,000 fine - too soft or too harsh?

  • Too harsh (10%)
  • About right (56%)
  • Too soft (34%)

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The FIA’s decision read:

Renault admitted to the Court that it breached the Sporting Regulations, in that it failed to ensure that car no. 7 complied with the conditions for safety throughout practice and the race, and that it released the car after a pit stop when it was unsafe to do so. However, it requested the Court to reconsider the severity of the sanction imposed by the Stewards.

Having heard the arguments of the parties, the Court has decided as follows:

1. to allow the appeal and overturn the sanction imposed by the Stewards in the Contested Decision;

2. to issue a reprimand and impose a fine of $50,000 upon Renault.

I am somewhat surprised by the leniency of the ultimate punishment. While I thought the FIA would do the sensible thing and let Renault race this weekend, I’m surprised it has come with a heavier fine or at least a suspended sentence, the type of which McLaren got after the Australian Grand Prix.

But then Renault have done well in appeals in the past. Whether they have deserved to or if they just have a good legal team I’ll leave up to you…